Portage Exchange Club – Installation of New Officers, and Distinguished Young Woman

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Published on July 15, 2015 with No Comments

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807- President Kathy Cox, 2016 DYW Claire Hagan, Pauline and Roger Mergl at the July 1 meeting of the Portage Exchange Club.

The Portage Exchange Club had an exciting meeting Wed., July 1.  Besides installation of new officers for the 2015-16 year, they welcomed as guest speaker Claire Hagan, Portage High School’s 2016 Distinguished Young Woman.

Hagan gave the club a description of all the activities involved in the Distinguished Young Woman Scholarship Competition from beginning to end.

She decided to participate mainly because many of her good friends planned to do so.  She described learning the fitness routine – her favorite segment – participating in all the preliminaries, her one-on-one interview with the judges and finally her reaction when her name was announced as winner.

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805 - The new Board and Officers of the Portage Exchange Club

“I was crying and shaking, and I literally fell to the floor when the curtain closed. . . . I guess you could say I was a little overwhelmed,” she said.

Hagan, who has been involved in dance since she was three years old, displayed her talent at the competition with a formal point ballet to the song “Music of the Night.”

She is a member and vice president of the Choraliers, the PHS show choir; co-president of the Thespians; and has lettered in theater.  She has received the Gypsy Award for Most Enthusiastic Dancer and Best Actress Award for her performance in “Godspell.”

She credits her mother, Janet, for getting her interested in theater.  She would attend practices and performances of the community theater in which her mother was involved.  Claire’s first performance was in “Lil Abner.”  She also credits PHS Auditorium Director Kevin Giese with encouraging her in Thespians and the plays and musicals.

In February 2016, Hagan will travel to Kokomo to participate in the DYW state competition.

Three of her most enthusiastic supported attended the meeting with her: her mother and grandparents, Roger and Pauline Mergl.  Roger is a long-time member of the Portage Exchange Club.

Exchange District Director Jim Eriksson performed the installation of board members and officers.  Following the installation, President Kathy Cox promised a “year of change” for the club.

“We want to keep and build on what works and try some new things to grow the membership and build club spirit,” she said.

The Exchange Club meets Wednesday mornings at 7 a.m., except for the fourth week of the months when they meet at noon for a luncheon meeting.  All meetings are held at Miller’s Senior Living, 5090 Lute Rd., Portage in the community room.  Visitors and new members are welcome. Maltese, an assistant professor of science education at indiana university in bloomington

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